Gorillas aim for 10th straight win

The PSU women will face Lincoln Thursday night
Gorillas aim for 10th straight win


The Pittsburg State University women’s basketball team returns to MIAA play this week when the Gorillas face a pair of road games against Lincoln University Thursday (Jan. 3) and Lindenwood University Saturday (Jan. 5).

The Gorillas and Blue Tigers will meet at 5:30 p.m. (CST) Thursday at Jason Gym on the LU campus, while Pitt State will battle the Lions at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Robert F. Hyland Arena on the LWU campus.

Both games can be heard on ESPN 100.7 FM radio, online at espn1007.com/go or through the ESPN 100.7 or KSHQ app for phones or mobile devices.

The Records
Pitt State is 10-1 overall and 2-0 in MIAA play on the season. The Gorillas have posted nine consecutive wins, including a pair of home wins over Tabor College (80-65) on Dec. 28 and Bethel College (72-47) on Dec. 30.

Pitt State posted a 94-81 victory over Northern State University in its season debut on Nov. 9, before the Gorillas dropped a 66-55 decision to Minnesota State University Moorhead the next day.

Pitt State claimed a pair of home wins No. 16-17, defeating Southeastern Oklahoma State University, 71-56, and besting the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, 79-57. The Gorillas also knocked off Bethany College, 81-48, on Nov. 23.

Pitt State opened MIAA play by beating Northeastern State University, 75-65, on Dec. 5 and No. 23 ranked University of Central Oklahoma, 84-71, on Dec. 8.

The Gorillas posted a pair of victories at the Las Vegas Hoopla Dec. 17-18 against Embery-Riddle University (72-59) and St. Edward’s University (59-42).

LU is 9-2 overall and 1-1 in MIAA play. The Blue Tigers have won two straight games including a 71-42 win over St. Louis College of Pharmacy on Dec. 30.

LWU is 8-2 overall and 2-0 in MIAA action heading into a Thursday match-up against Missouri Southern State University. The Lions have won four straight games including an 84-60 win over Quincy University the last time out on Dec. 17.

Head Coach Amanda Davied
Amanda Davied is in her first year as head coach at Pittsburg State after being hired to the position on May 21, 2018. She has a 10-1 (.909) record in her short tenure leading the Gorillas.

Davied, who served the previous 14 seasons as the assistant coach for her alma mater, replaced her former mentor, Lane Lord, who accepted the head coach position at NCAA Division I member University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

As the Gorillas top assistant the past 14 years, Davied served as the team’s recruiting coordinator and was highly involved in all aspects of the administration of the women’s basketball program.

During her tenure on the Pitt State staff (2004-18), the Gorillas have compiled a 293-161 (.645) overall record, capturing an MIAA regular season title in 2017 and making five trips to the NCAA Division II National Tournament (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017) including a pair of Elite Eight appearances (2012, 2016).

Davied is off to the best start of any first-year head coach in Pitt State history. Her mentors Steve High (1990-2007) and Lane Lord (2008-18) opened their Pitt State careers with 9-2 and 8-3 marks, respectively, through 11 games.

Davied began her coaching career as a graduate assistant for the Gorilla women’s basketball program in the 2003-04 season, after completing a decorated playing career for Pitt State the previous season. She was hired as a full-time assistant in July 2004 by former head coach Steve High and remained to serve as the top assistant on Lord’s staff when he took over the program in April 2007.

Series History
Thursday’s action will be the 35th all-time meeting between Pitt State and LU. The Gorillas hold a decided 32-2 advantage in the series, including a perfect 15-0 record against the Blue Tigers at Jefferson City, Mo.

Pitt State and LWU will meet for the 11th time in program history Saturday. The Gorillas are 9-1 against the Lions with a 5-0 mark at St. Charles, Mo.

Scouting the Gorillas
Pitt State has two players averaging in double figures on the young season: senior guard/forward Shelby Lopez (12.1 ppg) and junior forward Athena Alvarado (11.8 ppg).

Lopez is averaging a team-leading 12.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. The Wichita native posted a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds in the Gorillas’ win vs. UAFS on Nov. 17. She scored a season-high 18 points in Pitt State’s victory against No. 23 UCO on Dec. 8.

Lopez averaged 11.0 points and 3.2 rebounds per game last season. She knocked down 55 of 154 3-point field goal attempts on the season, converting 35.7 percent of her long-range shots.

Lopez scored in double figures 13 times on the season, including a season-high 24 points against Colorado Mines on Nov. 25, 2017.

Lopez contributed 9.2 points per game while earning honorable mention All-MIAA honors as a sophomore in 2016-17. The Wichita native hit 69 3-pointers, shooting a team-leading 38.1 percent from long range (69-181).She ranked third in the MIAA in 3-point field goals.

Lopez has scored 892 points (8.3 ppg) and made 182 3-point field goals in 107 career games for the Gorillas. She ranks fourth in Pitt State history in career 3-point field goals (182) and needs four more triples to pass Drew Roberts (2010-13, 185) for third place on the list.

Alvarado is contributing 11.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game while shooting 62.6 percent from the field on the season (57-91). She currently ranks second in the MIAA in field goal percentage, tied for eighth place in blocked shots (1.1 bpg) and 14th in the conference in rebounding.

Alvarado posted a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds vs. UAFS (Nov. 17) and she posted 19 points and a career-high 14 rebounds against NSU on Dec. 5. She scored a career-high 20 points vs. Embery-Riddle on Dec. 17.

Alvarado scored 6.7 points and grabbed 3.1 rebounds per game as a sophomore in 2017-18. The Wichita native also blocked 32 shots, ranking eighth in the MIAA in blocked shots (1.1 bpg).

She scored in double figures six times including a career-high 20 points against Central Oklahoma on Jan. 25, 2018.

Alvarado shot 57.9 percent from the field in her rookie campaign for the Gorillas, converting 81 of 140 shots and scoring 6.2 points per game. She also blocked a team-leading 29 shots on the year.

Additionally, the Gorillas have six players scoring between 4.1 points and 8.9 points per game: freshman guard Kaylee DaMitz (8.9 ppg), freshman guard Tristan Gegg (8.6 ppg), sophomore guard Maya Williams (8.1 ppg), freshman forward Megan Scott (7.9 ppg), junior forward Meghan Maher (7.5 ppg) and junior guard Sydney Tracy (4.1 ppg).

DaMitz is contributing 8.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game on the young season. The Preston, Mo., native has converted eight of 18 3-point field goals (.444) to date and she’s shooting 90.3 percent from the free throw line (28-31).

DaMitz, who scored 15 points and dished out eight assists in the Gorillas win against UAFS on Nov. 17, leads the MIAA in assist/turnover ratio (2.2) and ranks second in the conference in assists (4.5 apg) to date.

DaMitz averaged 21.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists in her senior season at Skyline High School in 2017-18, earning Missouri Class 2A All-State honors. She led the Tigers to the Class 2A state title and claimed Class 2A Player of the Year honors her junior season.

Williams is averaging 8.3 points and a team-leadingt 6.5 rebounds per game to date. The Carthage, Mo., native scored a career-high 14 points in the Gorillas’ loss to MSU Moorhead on Nov. 10 and she had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds vs. Embery-Riddle on Dec. 17. She currently is tied for 12th place in the MIAA in rebounding.

Williams scored 3.0 points and grabbed 1.2 rebounds per game as a redshirt freshman in 2017-18.

Gegg is averaging 8.6 points per game. The Altamont, Kan., native scored a season-best 14 points in Pitt State’s win vs. Bethel on Dec. 31.

Gegg averaged 27 points and 5.8 rebounds per game as a senior at Labette County High School. She was a Kansas Class 4A All-State selection for the Grizzlies.

Scott is averaging 7.9 points and 4.8 rebounds and shooting 62.0 percent from the field (31-50) in nine games played. The Carl Junction, Mo., native missed Pitt State’s first two games due to illness. She scored a season-high 15 points vs. St. Edward’s on Dec. 18.

Scott averaged 11.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game as a senior at Carl Junction High School, earning Missouri Class 4A All-State honors.

Maher is averaging 7.5 points per game. She is shooting .537 from the field to date, knocking down 29 of 54 shots overall. The Raymore, Mo., native also has converted 21 of 40 3-point field goals (.525).

Maher averaged 4.7 points and 1.5 rebounds per game last season. She shot 43.9 percent from the field, converting 50 of 114 attempts.

Maher scored a career-high 21 points against Washburn on March 1, 2018. She knocked down seven of 11 3-point field goal attempts in the game. For the season she made 37 of 90 trifectas (.411).

Tracy, who is contributing 4.1 points per game, enjoyed a solid debut for the Gorillas against NSU on Nov. 9. The St. Michael, Minn., native scored 13 points and dished out three assists in the season opener.

Tracy transferred to Pitt State from South Dakota State University. She saw significant action for the Jackrabbits the past two seasons. Tracy was a first-team All-State prep athlete at St. Michael Albertville High School in 2015-16.

As a team, Pitt State is shooting 46.5 percent from the field (307-660),38.0 percent from 3-point range (82-216) and 71.2 percent from the free throw line (1265-177). The Gorillas are scoring 74.7 points per game.

The Gorillas rank second in the MIAA in field goal percentage (.465), third in the conference in field goal pct defense (.357) and fourth in the league in scoring (74.7 ppg).

Pitt State Probable Starters
F 15 Athena Alvarado, 6-0, Jr., Wichita, Kan.
F 35 Meghan Maher, 6-0, Jr., Raymore, Mo.
G 1 Maya Williams, 5-9, So., Carthage, Mo.
G 2 Kaylee DaMitz, 5-4, Fr., Preston, Mo.
G 11 Shelby Lopez, 6-0, Sr., Wichita, Kan.